A perennial herb of nutrient-poor, acidic, or sometimes base-rich, shallow water in bog pools and abandoned peat cuttings, at the edges of lakes amongst emergent vegetation, in ditches and small ponds, and in fens. 0-600 m (Haystacks Tarn, Cumberland), and possibly to 685 m in Scotland.
U. minor is free-flowering, and can be reliably identified on both flowering and vegetative characters. A decline was apparent in the 1962 Atlas, and this has continued in S. and E. England, and perhaps also in S.E. Ireland, due to habitat destruction and eutrophication. It may still be under-recorded in the northern and western parts of its range.
Circumpolar Boreo-temperate element.
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